The video shoot (heard round the world?)

This weekend Maddy and her friend teamed up to do the final stages of a social studies project together. A few weeks ago they decided to write a script about the Boston Massacre and then make a movie of it.

Yesterday was shoot day. They enlisted several of their friends and their siblings. Sam was conscripted as the romantic lead (a British soldier) simply because we have a redcoat uniform that fit him when he was five. {This is why his jacket sleeves go to his elbows in the photo below.} Lauren was the director/cameraperson. I alternated between bossy backseat director and observer, depending on whether the cast was behaving or not. {Some would say this is my role on a daily basis.}

I was impressed by their gumption. Usually school projects feel like just as much my homework as the kids' but they did the whole thing. They laid out a whole project schedule, including reading the book, writing the script, and filming the movie. They arranged to meet and type it up together on the computer. They scouted locations, set a time and place, and coordinated casting. They managed to make it really fun for everyone involved.

I tried to attach a clip here but our slow internet connection whined and complained and fell on the floor and did a tantrum so...alas. {I'll have to see what I can figure out. Or switch internet carriers.} In the meantime, here they are getting ready before heading out to the park to film the carnage.

In other weekend news, it was the spelling bee at the elementary school, which is just about the closest to a slice of Mayberry as you can get around here. The 4th graders compete in teams of 3 and it is the first year of elimination. As in, you spell the word wrong, you're out. Sam and his friends had a couple of practice sessions here before the big day. They are AWESOME spellers. I have to admit to a little goeth-before-the-fall pride in imagining just how well they would do. And I always feel so sorry for the first team out, you know?

Well, guess what? They were the first team out. With each word, they would all spell it out on paper, agree on its spelling, then take turns saying it out loud in the microphone. On the third time through, they got the word triangle. They were all cocky--heh! we got triangle...what do they think this is, kindergarten?--and then the one saying it out loud got too excited and skipped the "a." Poor guy. Poor team. They were good sports about it but spent the rest of the spelling bee sitting next to me, whispering how they knew every word that came through. {Well, yeah, guys but you missed "triangle" remember?}